First Samuel 22 Commentary
All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander.
So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a gang of scoundrels gathered around him and followed him.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
The call still remains: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Being in distress, or in debt, or discontented, or a scoundrel, or a sinner, doesn’t at all means one is useless. From this group of people, David was able to raise an administrative structure that changed the history of the nation. From the tax collectors and sinners and fishermen, the man Jesus was able to raise men and women that have changed the world for good. And for a record, we have empires, cities, cathedrals, and even countless children named after Peter. We have heard very little about the more educated Pirate or even the High Priests Caiaphas or Annas. Today we can read about the fugitive David and draw encouragement from his story. It is set in a far more complicated plan than what is immediately obtaining or even possible through his own means. The LORD is in charge.
But for now, he has a cross to carry. There is King Saul to contend with. And for his part, Saul is an interesting story by himself. There is absolutely no reason why he is hunting David. The reasons he gives here are all fabrications by his imaginations. Yes, Jonathan has made a covenant with David but it is for friendship. He shouldn’t be concerned. Jonathan hasn’t incited David against Saul. David is not lying in wait for Saul. It should interest the reader that there are many times when we have gone to bed with swollen hearts about non-existent matters.
In order to sustain sin and all its relatives; bitterness, anger, worry, and fear, among others, the evil one operates a huge factory of lies. You can easily tell that Saul is misinformed. This leads to more sin. The priests Ahimelek and others are murdered because of misinformation and unchecked anger. Again this is for our instruction. It is terrible to sin against the innocent in this way.
Doeg the Edomite is again mentioned. In Psalm 52, Doeg is described as one who seeks to grow strong by destroying others. Here is another important point for the saint: you don’t have to sink another’s boat in order to float your own. The LORD provides enough water to float both. The thought that I only succeed by destroying those around me is Saul’s problem. It is Doeg’s problem. It is sinful and the LORD hates it.
To the hunted like David, it is the song he sings, Psalm 52 that should help us pull through. This psalm is probably written immediately after the events in this chapter. But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good. Psalm 51 verses 8 and 9. Amen.
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